WHO is the best influencer?
Updated: Jul 4
This week, my social media feeds suddenly were filled with a couple of new talent management groups exhibiting their own roster of influencer talents; some groups even present themselves as "influencer marketing companies." While I find that a bit, well, preposterous, it's still a good indicator that the influencer marketing industry is growing and is definitely here to stay -- which is good for all of our businesses -- but I feel like writing this article out of sheer need to educate people, especially marketers and media buyers, on HOW influencer marketing must really be done and WHO the best influencer is, really.
Two years ago, I wrote an article on how to do influencer marketing the right way, but we've seen many changes, this COVID-19 pandemic included. Our good forecasts and high hopes for 2020, all based on 2019 figures, plummeted very abruptly as the entire world was forced into strict lockdowns and companies suddenly had to withhold spending to preserve cash. What a nightmare -- companies are totally NOT in spend mode; i.e., paying clients are going to be more challenging to come by!
Then again, the elephant in the room is this -- while it is true that many companies have reallocated money and withheld spending (and marketing budgets will always be one of the first to get slashed), budgets that have already been appropriated will still find a way to move around. Because of the unpredictability of the situtation, this is a time when marketers have to be extra prudent where to spend those (precious, teeny weeny) budgets on.
Now that everyone has gone online to get their news and entertainment, it's inevitable that media spend on influencer marketing will now be so much more significant than before. Because of the ever growing number of influencers and content creators, how can a brand determine the best influencer partners?
There are many different types of influencers, each one having advantages and nuances that are unique to their classifications. Generally speaking, on the most macro scale, we can categorize influencers as those who became famous from traditional ways (mainstream media, academe or professional recognitions and involvements) and those whose fame rose through digital media.
In my previous article, I wrote about being crystal clear about the marketing goals and objectives you wish to achieve -- this is the very first step that we ought to prioritize. The marketing goal or campaign objective will dictate how to select influencers to engage and who exactly to choose. I'm not a huge fan of follower counts in social, but for the sake of marketers who still have "number of followers" as a metric of credibility, I shall include this as an indicator too.
I shall summarize all the words I was intending to write, summarizing our 5 years of experience in managing influencer marketing strategy and campaign executions, in an easy to understand visual material, as follows:
The table above is a generalized summary, but of course as in everything in life, there are always caveats. There are many nuances when it comes to influencer marketing: we've seen celebrities having the unfair advantage of raking in an ultra high number of followers in a short period of time, we've seen digital influencers getting opportunities in trad media like TV shows and movies, we've seen the quick rise of influencer follower count because of giveaways (and hence followers may not be as invested or engaged), we've seen how sets of influencers will have the same 50% of audiences (and hence may not be good to be engaged together in a campaign), and many others.
Sybil Grieb of 100Hats said that the word “influencer” has become a "vague catchall" as the industry scrambles to find a cohesive term people will identify with in a rapidly evolving social media landscape. She also mentioned that while influencers are here to stay, not all those that have influence or create good content are necessarily the right partner for your brand.
Selecting influencers to engage and partner with is an art and a science: the science part of course involves data and analytics, the art part is knowing how to maneuver through the dynamics, relationships, and even politics of the world of social media influencers -- and oftentimes the art-science mix is a very complicated matter altogether.
Influencer marketing is not "talent booking" or "social media posting" -- remember that proper influencer marketing strategy involves knowing the business objectives, marketing goals and success metrics, aligning with concurrent marketing efforts, being intentional on messaging, creative execution, and platform choice, consistent monitoring, and having a follow-through plan.
--- SALES PITCH ALERT ---
To be perfectly honest, regardless of tier, the best influencer is someone who knows, understands, and internalizes your business goals and works with you in achieving those goals.
We don't peddle talents. We tell you WHO the best influencers are and WHY. We help foster collaborations and elevate influence.
And that, my friends, is what sets Blogapalooza apart.
firstname.lastname@example.org -- let us help you jumpstart, fix, or improve your influencer marketing strategy and executions! :)